Los Angeles Forum – April 26, 1969

The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Legacy, 2022


REVIEW BY: David Bowling


I continue to be amazed at the number of Jimi Hendrix’s live performances that were recorded and have survived. Many of the setlists are similar, but the concerts are different. Hendrix never played a song the same and each live performance has its own unique flavor.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Los Angeles Forum – April 26, 1969 has been released in bootleg form before, but this 2022 Legacy edition is the first official release of the concert.

The performance, recorded just prior to Woodstock, finds the Jimi Hendrix Experience (Hendrix, bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell) at the height of their power. Modern technology has enhanced the sound so that it is more than acceptable by today’s standards. There is a good balance between the instruments and Hendrix’s guitar.

Hendrix always shines when a song passes the 10-minute mark. Songs such as “Tax Free,” “Red House,” and “Spanish Castle Magic” give Hendrix room to improvise off the basic melodies. His style has never been matched, and here, his frenetic picking coalesces into booming chords that remain unique over 50 years later.

“The Star Spangled Banner” is a warm up for his famous live performance at Woodstock. It may not have the fire of the latter performance, but the basics are in place. I don’t think the live West Coast audience quite knew what to make of the song, as the crowd noise increases when he moves into “Purple Haze.”

The concert ends with his live staple “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).” In the middle of the song, he works in a bit of “Sunshine Of Your Love”; he doesn’t try to outshine Eric Clapton, but rather transforms the song into his own unique version.

Los Angeles Forum – April 26, 1969 is an excellent look at mid-career Hendrix. The Jimi Hendrix Experience rarely disappointed on stage, and this concert is no exception.

Rating: B+

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